• Fishing and Fitness
    Fishing can be tough on the body. Fighting waves, working motors, standing upright, and firing off repeated casts can easily put strain on overworked limbs, joints, and muscles. Injury is the worst-case scenario, but for the most part, a lack of comfort and the ability to power through a day on the water will both be greatly diminished. Bottom line is – fitness can enhance your fishing experience, hands down. Feb. 2012

  • Grubs:  The forgotten Friend
    One of the biggest misconceptions in angling is that those bright sunny days will either drive fish deep, or into cover. While often true, rules don’t apply to all fish, as a matter of fact, probably not even half. When you think you have things figured out, they will always throw a curveball. Some of my best fishing days in recent memory have come on the days where the sweat evaporates before it leaves your pores. The days when three layers of sunscreen just doesn’t cut it.It happens to all of us. A new lure comes out and it looks amazing. It has a beautiful finish, the action is tight and the price is right. We buy a couple of them and they sit in their plastic home with hundreds of other lures that will never be used.

  • Safety in the Outdoors “The Invisible Nasties in Water”
    We’ve all been guilty of taking a sip of water from a clear-as-can-be stream while wading for trout, splashing lake water on the face after a long hike, or taking a cannonball off the end of a buddy’s dock, usually resulting in laughter and a mouthful of water. These are innocent enough actions, yet they can cause pain and misery – and it can all be blamed on microscopic parasites.

  • Boat Cleaning 101
    A fishing boat covets a great deal of pride and joy for its owner. Not only does it hold the greatest investment in this sport we enjoy, but it also becomes our floating office each time we step in and push away from the dock. Caring for and cleaning your boat not only adds value to your purchase by protection and restoration, but can also stop the spread of invasive species, which can be serious business. But, if you’re like me – a clean boat just gives you that happy feeling when out casting a line.

  • Eating Your Catch – From Landing Net to Table
    There’s nothing more fulfilling, both to the taste buds and the tummy, than that of freshly caught fish. Whether they are cooked over the open flames of a campfire, pan-fried in the kitchen, or baked on the BBQ, the tempting aromas and mouth-watering flavours are just rewards for a hard day spent on the water. Add to that the inherent health benefits that can be derived from regularly eating our finny friends, and you’ve got yourself a true winner for the dinner table.

  • Eastern Ontario Threesome – Skootamatta, Big Gull and Kashwakamak Lakes
    The heat of the September morning was stifling as I rumbled down the busy 417 Highway, the Ottawa landscape fading from view with my sight set westward. While my trusty aluminum followed closely behind – overburdened with rods, tackle and luggage – thoughts of feisty fish began to slowly dance within my head.

  • The Mistakes an Angler Makes
    Mistakes on the water can be a deal breaker when it comes to putting fish in the boat. Whether we subconsciously commit these errors, or tow the bad habits to the launch ramp each time out, they will become a detriment to your angling success. Recognizing our mistakes and how to overcome them will put you back in the drivers seat, leading to more fulfilling days and a significant increase in that bend of the rod.

  • Make Some Fishing Resolutions
    With another year firmly upon us, non-committal promises to lose weight, quit smoking or eat healthier, quickly, and for the most part definitively, run out of steam. Although we struggle with these goals year after year, proposing and adhering to fishing resolutions will most certainly bring about the positive results you desire. (And they are not all that hard to stick with.)

  • The FUNdamentals of a Fishing Log
    We have all had similar days on the water. Those when the fish refuse to bite, no matter what technique or bait we toss their way. Scratching our heads only brings greater discomfort, and we resign ourselves to believe that it must just be a “bad day” on the water. Situations such as these can be reversed – made possible by the art of patterning the fish. But before you can pattern, you first must learn to record, and that can easily be achieved by creating a fishing log.

    No fishing trip is complete without a shorelunch while out on the lake. Done right, it can be the best meal you will eat all year. Done wrong, however, and you’ll leave feeling hungry and frustrated with the time you’ve wasted. As a full time fishing guide, I’ve prepared my share of shorelunches and have perfected the art of a well-executed and tasty meal for my guests. Use these tips to ensure that your next shorelunch is cooked to perfection and a memorable experience for everyone.

  • Getting a Child Hooked on Fishing
    Angling is a sport that greatly enriches one’s life. We can all still remember that first fish that tugged on our line, the spilt can of worms, or even the tadpoles dancing in the shallows. That infectious smile we wore all day – beaming with pride, joy and a sense of accomplishment. Taking a child fishing is a wonderful way to get a youngsters love for the outdoors started. By following a few simple rules, you can make the day one that the both of you will remember for many years to come.

  • Multi-Task Fishing Outfits (all about fishing rods)
    Don’t worry, this article has nothing to do with updating your boat wardrobe or shopping for fishing clothes! ‘Outfits,’ just refers to rod and reel combos. And in this case, each is worth carrying or investing in, because they’re useful and really versatile, no matter where you fish or what you fish for. If you’re into golf, these are the utility wedges. If you’re a handyman, they’re the multi-tools. What they lack in single-use perfection, they make up for in adaptability. These are the best of the ‘second best at everything’ category, and they’re great to have.

  • Five Things To Try This Season
    Open water fishing is just around the corner! Before every new, open-water season starts, I normally set an informal list of things I want to try. Some items on the list quickly turn into time well spent, some don’t, and others longer to bear fruit. At any rate, listed below are a few ideas that have really worked out well. With any luck, one or more might work for you, or get you thinking of a list of your own.

  • You Better Believe Bait’s Fun: Fishing For Ciscoe
    They move through spots in big schools, and their strikes range from crisp little taps to all-out attacks. Catching one normally means you’ll be busy with others for a while. They’re good little fighters on panfish-weight fishing tackle, and they’re excellent smoked, baked or even fried. They inhabit a huge range of lake types across Ontario, from tea-stained ones with mostly soft bottom to the classic, crystal clear and rocky. Lake herring/ciscoe and great fun.

  • Fishing and the Wind
    Put up your hand if you enjoy fishing in the wind? Hmm, not much of a response there. This comes as no surprise, as for the most part, anglers the world over absolutely abhor fishing in the wind. What other condition accounts for out-of-control drifts, crashing waves, bird nest lines and energy sapping chaos?

  • Panfish Filleting Made Easy
    We all know how succulent a mess of walleye or pike can be, and the filleting protocol that goes along with prepping them. It has become common practice to keep a few of these larger predators for a meal, but many anglers overlook the culinary treats that a panfish can provide. That’s a shame, as panfish are prolific and easily caught, with high or non-existent limits. If truth were told, pannies are my number one choice when it comes to a plateful of fish. They may run small, but they pack a big punch in the taste department.

  • The Importance of Weeds
    When it comes to freshwater angling, weeds play an extremely important role in the livelihood of a fish. They provide shelter, oxygen, ambush points and a smorgasbord of baitfish – more than enough reasons to pay special attention to the green stuff when out for the day. Learn the true reasons why weeds are so special, and watch your catch rates grow in leaps and bounds

  • Got the Cold Front Blues?
    We’ve all had to face it at one time or another – waking up on the day of your fishing trip to a chill in the air and bluebird skies to boot. What you are experiencing is the passing of a cold front, a weather occurrence that can shut down fish, and cause severe headaches for an angler. Fishing will be tough – there’s no two ways about it – but it is possible to put some fins in the boat if you are prepared to alter your delivery.

  • Fish on the Plate
    If there’s one thing I’ve discovered after spending all these years out on the water, it’s that fresh fish sure tastes good. No matter what specie it is, be it bass, walleye or crappie, the tempting aroma and mouth-watering flavour they exhibit might be the closest thing to pure perfection that I can think of.

  • Set Some Goals This Season
    Setting goals, what does this have to do with fishing?” The answer: more than one might initially appreciate. Goals are milestones we seek to achieve and by setting goals and having a plan to reach them, success and getting better go hand-in-hand. Always wanted to fish a tournament, catch a muskie or learn to fly fish? Well, it’s time to make these things happen.

  • Suckers Don’t Suck
    Suckers are right up there with Carp and Rock Bass as one of those “nuisance fish” that is shunned by most anglers. All too often on the riverbanks you’ll hear, “Oh it’s just a sucker” after a Steelheader’s float disappears and their rod starts to buckle over. Suckers may not put on the same aerial display as a Steelhead or be as pleasing to the eye with their bland colouring, but Suckers aren’t all bad, in fact when targeted with light gear they can make for quite the exciting day.

  • Find Fish Fast on a New Lake
    Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of launching your boat onto a brand-new lake. Everything looks so good as you start up the outboard, but where in the world should you start? No matter what species of fish you are after, by being prepared and following some rules, you can find fish fast and easily. (And that’s about as fun as anything when it comes to fishing!)

  • Keeping Minnows in Fish-Catching Condition
    As anglers many of us are guilty of anxiously rushing to our favorite spot for a day of fishing. The thrill of anticipation is one of the things I enjoy most about fishing; however, it’s disheartening when your pre-fishing haste is because you’re trying to get to the water before all your minnows go belly-up. Healthy, live bait can be crucial to fishing success, especially in tough conditions or when targeting finicky feeders like walleye. Here are some tips on transporting minnows and how-to keep them in fish-catching condition.

  • Night Fishing Primer
    Fishing under the cover of darkness has long been a strategy for walleye and crappie anglers. Recently, night fishing is becoming popular on water bodies that receive a lot of day fishing pressure and boat traffic. Angling in the moonlight is not for everyone, it requires more planning, adequate lighting gear, and extra safety precautions.

  • The Beauty of Tying Bucktails
    Bucktail jigs are extremely effective, but underutilized, baits for many game fish. These jigs not only catch fish, but are easy to make. To begin making your own jigs, you will need to invest in proper tools and tying materials. Below are the tying basics to start saving a few dollars, and cashing in on bucktails.

  • Start an ‘Outdoor Journal’ now!
    It is nearing ice-fishing season, a certain excitement fills the air. This excitement enters my thoughts, clogging my mind of it’s daily routine, hindering my level of functionality, umm, shall we say it’s now similar to, “Yes teacher?!?” “No, I wasn’t daydreaming.”

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Trolling
    Trolling can be one of the most productive ways to scour a lake for fish. However, for those that believe it’s simply a matter of tossing out a lure and cranking up the motor, it can also be one of the worst. Like everything in fishing, the art of trolling takes specific knowledge and techniques in order to catch our aquatic friends on a consistent basis. Adhere to the following fundamentals, and watch your trolling prowess grow in leaps and bounds.

  • Net Landing Fall Trophies
    With fall fishing in full swing, chances of landing a chunky trophy are better than ever. As water temperatures drop and anglers bundle up, hand-landing is less of an option and nets become crucial. Yet, having a net is not enough. Proper technique and communication are crucial to ensuring a quick landing and healthy recovery of released fish.

  • Rock Piles
    It’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon. You’re just out for a boat ride, to escape the heat perhaps. The fish finder is on, just in case. Suddenly, as you glance down, you spy what seems to be a large mound on the bottom. It was only there for a second but you are sure you saw it. Turning around you spend and hour looking for what you thought you saw. Finding it could mean good fishing. If you are boating on a lake in the Canadian Shield what you probably saw on your screen was a rock pile.

  • Turn Your Fishing Snapshots into Works of Art
    For the most part, anyone who fishes usually does so with a camera in tow. Capturing the beauty of a precise moment will ensure that you never forget the sheer enjoyment that you encountered while in the outdoors. (Plus a breathtaking photo can secure bragging rights when gleefully shown to your peers and family!) Come and explore the magic that the camera holds, and begin filling your photo album full of images that will make you proud.

  • Catch Your Own Minnows
    Tired of spending good money to some convenience store owner for minnows that you know will be belly up in two hours? Well here’s an idea you’re sure to like, catch your own! It is relatively easy to do and the cost is nominal especially when you consider the price of store bought minnows these days. Catching your own minnows gives you another activity to enjoy in the great outdoors.

  • Salt Water Fishing in the Ottawa River
    Pssst. Want to experience saltwater fishing without spending thousands to get there? If so, Hawkesbury, Ontario is the place for you. Reaching over twenty inches in length, the Alosa Sapidissima, a.k.a. American Shad averages between four and six pounds with the world record being just over eleven. Trust me when I say, “A six pound shad on the end of your line will definitely test your tackle.” In regards to the fight, they’ve been compared to double-digit bass.

  • Watch those Fingers!
    It only takes a quick peak into the mouth of a good-sized pike or muskie to quickly surmise that this is not a wise place to stick your digits if you wish for them to remain intact. Those spike-like teeth on the roof of their mouth can shred your knuckles in the blink of an eye, while the larger lower teeth can really do some serious damage. Trophy sized specimens may have teeth approaching two centimetres (3/4 inch) long, and should be shown extreme caution.

  • Sight Fishing 101″ By Justin Hoffman
    Nothing can get the heart pumping or the nerves shaking as much as seeing a chunky bass slowly swim up to your chosen bait, engulfing it in one fell swoop. Sight fishing is a productive and versatile technique that requires a set of trained eyes, as well as a concentrated mental focus. Come and join me as I explain how to go about spotting fish well before you cast to them – it may sound backwards, but the astonishing results certainly won’t lie.

  • Downrigger-less Depth Control Options
    On tiny or remote lakes especially, packing in even the smallest portable downrigger isn’t always feasible. If you need to get your bait down thirty, forty even fifty feet, what do you do? With a handful of basic rigging options and boat control techniques, you can work deeper than you might think, putting your presentation right in the thick of things.

  • Documenting Pays Dividends
    Your sister likely kept it under lock and key and buried beneath the mattress. Scribed in it, were the pieces to the puzzle of her life, some chronological and factual, others whimsical and emotional. Whatever its contents, though, they mattered.

  • Coping With Cold Fronts
    A general lack of fishing success can occur for a number of different reasons. Common excuses can range from “the water was too dirty” to “the fish were all sleeping,” with hundreds more available to protect our thin skin.  Putting the blame on a cold front is a valid reason for fishless days, and in the case of this weather-related occurrence, the odds are often stacked against you from the minute your first cast is taken.

  • Closing the Deal: Hooking Light Biters
    At some point in everyone’s angling experience we have been out-fished by someone. The reasons vary but one major factor for success is how well you can detect subtle strikes. This skill is particularly important when ice fishing. Perch, walleye, crappie and trout are all guilty, at times, of being light biters during the hard-water season. Here are some tips to help you hone your sensitivity to strikes.